V/A – 17 Steps: Floor To Floor

A superb cross-section of forward-thinking dance music...

Take twelve steps to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, plus five extra to get your dancefloor in order, once Dusky’s Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman have dosed you up on their house and techno programme. Looking at the label’s discography, the imprint has slowly opened up and away from being Dusky’s own private playground: on the strength of this compilation, the duo go ‘Floor to Floor’ like a repo/hatchet man double act.

You won’t find a weak link throughout the dozen-strong selection that isn’t in the business of pussy footing around. The tech-house growls of Velvit's shattering ‘Looking Glass’ and the bass behemoth that presides over Dusky’s ‘Mount Belzoni’, immediately point you in the direction of the lion’s den. Lo Shea’s ‘Thousand Foot Waves’ offers a euphoria of sorts, in as much as the track knows not to get too carried away on the back of a poignant, expectant synth riff.

Straight up jack and bounce from Trevino and Coba, excellently shaking off a case of the footcrabs, and a Detroit 101 from Moniker’s ‘Moving’ that is about low intensity as Dusky afford you, are the compilation’s breadth winners. The picky will point at the lack of 4x4s on the final track, Otik’s ‘Ur Soul Is Missing’, though rather it further tease the label’s miscellany than leave it marooned elsewhere. Moreover, it’s an all good and moody breakbeat sneak attack on the edge of dubstep, reeking of diesel.

Typically the cutting edge is returned to its sheath by two old skool throwbacks holding it down in central midfield. Alan Fitzpatrick’s ‘Where Haus?’, a pivotal moment in his recent Fabric mix, drops a hoover larger than the empire of Sir James Dyson to kick drums recalibrating the Richter scale. Mella Dee’s ‘Take Control’, effectively remixing Carl Cox’s ‘I Want You (Forever)’, is an absolute belter of a piano-house bullet train, elevating a compilation that’s raw like a Reservoir Dog.


Words: Matt Oliver

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